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Last Updated: Friday, 27 October 2006, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
Man stabbed mother in shared bed
A man who stabbed his mother to death while she slept in the bed they shared has been detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.

Mark Cook, 44, took a kitchen knife to the bed he and Elizabeth Cook, 64, were sleeping in and stabbed her repeatedly on the morning of 23 April, 2006.

He then dialled 999 and told the operator he had killed his mother.

Cook, of Churchill Road, Langley, Slough, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The court heard how Cook, who was later diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, had asked the 999 operator to call an ambulance and the police because he thought his mother was dead.

There was no reason or motive or explanation for what you did
Judge Anthony King

Asked why he thought that, he said: "Because I stabbed her this morning."

When police arrived at the house in Cockett Road, Langley, he showed them the blood-stained knife and his mother's gold rings, which he had removed from her fingers, saying: "That's the knife I used to kill her and those are her rings."

Officers also found a frayed piece of material hanging from the loft rafters of the house and Cook admitted he had unsuccessfully tried to hang himself.

The court heard how Cook had never lived alone but his mother and sister encouraged him to find a place of his own and he agreed to rent a council flat nearby, which he moved into on 12 April.

'Lost the plot'

But he was unhappy about leaving the family home and soon started suffering from nightmares.

The court heard that despite previous attempts to kill himself and a number of self-harming incidents, Cook was only thought to be suffering from depression.

Following his arrest doctors at the Oxford Clinic Medium Secure Unit diagnosed him with paranoid schizophrenia.

He told the doctor examining him after his arrest that he had woken up to find his mother not in bed beside him.

'Savage attack'

He said: "She wasn't there. I went to the kitchen and I got a knife and I went back to the bedroom and I stabbed her hard a few times. I lost the plot."

Mitigating Anthony Heaton-Armstrong said that Cook remained "devastated about the loss of his mother".

Imposing the unlimited hospital order, Judge Anthony King said: "This was a savage and uncontrolled attack, you stabbed your mother as she lay in bed. There was no reason or motive or explanation for what you did."


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